Chapter 62: Axel vs Akiko
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A girl with auburn hair was currently training alone so early in the morning. At one glance, Axel was able to recognize who she was. She was Matsushima Akiko, the girl who beat Martina yesterday.

Seeing his training spot being taken, Axel was at a momentary loss as he contemplated how to handle this situation. This clearing was quite deep into the forest and quite spacious and private. In short, it was the best place so far to train his skills and he didn't want to lose it. So, he was wondering if he should ask this girl to take her training somewhere else or if he should compromise.

He was going to go forward, but, looking at her training made him pause.

As he watched, the girl performed Handsigns in quick succession, "Yin Release: Touch of Death."

Dark energy surrounded her, causing ripples in the atmosphere. With that energy, she lightly touched a tree stump in front of her. Instantly, the stump withered and crumpled into powder, causing Axel to let out a low murmur of appreciation.

"!"

Who knew that, after detecting the sound, the girl would jump in surprise like a dear in headlights and quickly look in his direction?

'Fuck'

As soon as their eyes met, Axel had a feeling that he might have seen something he shouldn't have.

Shing*

In the next moment, sharp projectiles were thrown in his direction, trying to nail him into place. Axel was at least glad that none of them seemed to be aimed to kill.

"Wait a minute—" He tried, quickly dodging the projectiles and even catching one on impulse but the girl didn't seem to be listening at all as she quickly formed a few hand signs. Axel cursed. He couldn't just disappear or run away since the girl had clearly seen his face.

The technique seemed familiar, as in the next moment, the girl appeared right beside him with sparks bursting around her. "Will you stop for a moment?!" He asked in annoyance even as his knife appeared in his hand.

CLANG

It clashed with her sword which she had drawn in a flash. The girl's brows furrowed. She swung her sword again, trying to disarm him.

[Knife Wielding]

But Axel wasn't about to be taken down that easily, after all, with the fighting skills he had accumulated on the streets and combining them with the training and knowledge of the system, he wasn't about to be bested in close quarters at this level.

In two seconds, multiple sounds of weapons clashing resounded, and Axel somehow found himself at a disadvantage. 'Damn she's good,' he accepted, but at the same time, a thrill arose inside him at finally being able to put his skills to some use. He could feel it. This girl has been trained professionally, with lots of experience in fighting while he had little to no practical experience fighting like this.

Thus, he brought things up a notch.

[Arcane Eyes]

[Arcane Footwork]

His eyes glowed faintly and the strikes were no longer as difficult to follow as before. With his feet moving quite fast, he was able to avoid most of the attacks, lessening the strain on his Knife-Wielding skills.

The girl looked at Axel like she couldn't believe he was actually able to hold up, causing him to smirk even as their weapons seemed to blur, with only the sounds of weapons clashing and sparks erupting due to them. He was no longer backing down from the fight.

? At this moment, Axel saw the girl making a few handseals while still holding the sword.

A sound akin to the birds' chirping was emitted from the blade as the blade was covered in lightning.

CLANG

The next clash between their weapons caused Axel to be blasted back due to the impact with his hands feeling numb due to the lightning. Though, the girl only seemed more surprised by Axel.

"You have Lightning Affinity…?" She murmured and Axel grinned. He was no longer trying to resolve the situation peacefully. It was rare enough that he tried, but since the other party didn't listen, then he will just beat her first.

Besides, he was having too much fun right now.

[Knife Wielding]

The next time their weapons met, the lightning was totally ineffective. Because, a dull glow was covering his sword. Yep, he had been holding back.

[Knife Wielding] allows him to infuse magic in his blade as well. He wasn't using it before because he didn't want to look too abnormal.

"Surprise." He uttered, before the knife slipped out of his hand, appearing in the other one.

Stab!

Taking advantage of her momentary surprise due to him negating the lightning damage, he almost managed to stab her. It was only because he didn't want the fight to end did he slow down imperceptibly, causing her to back away in time.

"!"

Akiko looked between the small 1-inch wound in her stomach and his knife with absolute shock. Though, in the next moment, anger seemed to cover her features, at being bested by at close combat against a boy much younger than her who's not even a Ninja.

"Yin Release," she murmured, forming a new set of hand seals. Instantly, three Akikos appeared in front of him with no way to distinguish who was real.

The Akikos continued to make handseals from afar.

"Lightning Release: LIGHTNING DRAGON!" Three huge lightning dragons appeared, one from each girl, creating an incredibly intimidating scenery, making Axel freeze in place.

The smell of ozone filled the air and goosebumps rose on Axel's skin.

"...Well, this is fucked up," he proclaimed, looking surprised. There were currently three giant dragons made out of lightning coming after him. In face of such a situation, he still didn't draw his wand.

He didn't feel like he needed to. He can confidently say that even after witnessing the power of the fire dragon Jutsu which looked quite similar to this one. Only, this time, there were three. Anyone would have lost their shit, but not Axel.

"I see..." His hand curled into a fist. And in the next moment, he swung it.

"!"

The fist connected with a muffled thud as another Akiko became visible, just a few feet away from him, this one rubbing her cheek as the dragons and other Akikos suddenly dissipated.

"Are we done yet?" He asked. But even as he looked confident on the outside, he still thanked his lucky stars that he had [Arcane Eyes]. Those Akikos and those Dragons were fake, like illusions, though very real ones. Thankfully, he was able to see through it and see the real Akiko coming for him under invisibility.

Really, this girl was quite a monster. With these abilities, she's already better than most wizards he's seen. He felt like she was a genius on the same level as Martina. And that was a huge compliment considering Martina was quite younger than her. Only, while Martina is more oriented towards the academic field, this girl is pure combat.

While Axel was thinking how satisfying that punch was, the girl looked at Axel with her mouth agape, her hand still caressing her cheek which was throbbing with pain. She didn't seem to be able to believe what had just happened. Shame and humiliation flashed across her face before it settled into an impassive expression. But, seeing that look somehow rang warning bells in Axel's head.

Akiko's face was set into one of immense concentration as she formed the hand seals. Axel wanted to stop her, but it was already too late. By the time his knife reached her, there was a burst of lightning, and Axel was thrown back, his jaw hurting badly.

'What the hell... was that speed?' He wondered, spitting out some spittle mixed with blood. Fortunately, her physical strength wasn't much. Most of the damage was due to that insane speed with which she threw it.

He looked at the girl shaking her hand as if it hurt.

Axel rubbed his cheek. It was the first time after getting the system that he actually suffered a blow, which is quite an achievement. Usually, he'd get new injuries every few days but ever since getting the system, he had begun to feel this sense of invincibility that he'd be able to get past just anything.

This punch was the punch that woke him up and knocked some more sense into his head. That despite everything he had going for him, he wasn't invisible yet. Just now, he was too careless. If he was cautious enough, he could have been able to avoid that punch. But he had still underestimated her.

'This is enough for now,' he thought as he disappeared from his place.

[Presence Reduction]

[Blend]

[True Invisibility]

[Soundless]

[Traceless]

He silently walked behind the girl who still looking around, trying to locate him.

"Petrifucus Totalus." he chanted under soundless, using his wand for the first time.

The girl went down like a sack.

"Thanks for that. I had fun," he told her, though, he also learned a lot.

"Now, what to do with you?" He wondered. He couldn't just kill her since even she wasn't trying to kill him, only incapacitate him. Besides, with her Lightning and Darkness Affinity, she was quite talented, too talented. If something happens to her, it'll cause a ruckus. Wait a moment, her talent...The gears of his mind began churning.

He then unpetrified only her face so that she could speak.

"So, why the sudden attack?" He asked, looking down at her.

The girl looked away, seemingly at a loss for words.

"That Jutsu... the death touch," he said, sounding her out.

There was a reaction. Her mouth closed, almost too quickly.

Axel nodded his head in understanding. "Let me guess...it was some kind of illegal Jutsu, right? Judging by your reaction, you'd get into deep shit if it was revealed."

The girl's eyes widened just a fraction as she looked at him with some surprise. Then, there was a flash of helplessness, and finally, she looked at him fiercely, as if ready to put everything on the line.

Axel chuckled. "You don't need to worry. I won't tell anyone."

"...?" The girl looked at him dubiously. "You won't?" Speaking for the first time. Her voice was quite soft and childish, quite a contrast to her body and abilities.

Axel frowned. She didn't seem to be questioning his credibility, but his ability.

"Don't give me that look. My will and mental defenses are quite strong, if I do say so myself. No one can get any information out of me. But, I want something in return," he said, looking up and down her body for signs of injuries. There was nothing serious. It seems that they don't have any reasons for grudges against each other yet.

Akiko's expression turned sour as she looked down at her body. "What is it?" She asked through gritted teeth, looking as if she wouldn't agree no matter what.

Axel raised an eyebrow. He had a feeling that she was making the wrong assumptions here. "I want you to teach me all the jutsus you can. Sword-wielding would also be nice."

Akiko's expression blanked out for a second, "...That... that's what you want?"

Axel nodded, "Yeah. Sayako Sensei said I won't be able to learn much in her classes for a while and people with Lightning elemental affinity are rare. She said she'd ask another student with the Lightning element to teach me, but I shouldn't have much hope."

Realization dawned on her, "So, you were the one she was talking about."

"Yep. You must have rejected quite flatly, right?" He guess as he bent down, so that they were eye to eye, and Akiko looked a bit embarrassed since his guess was correct.

"So," said Axel, a dark smile playing on his lips, "won't you reconsider, Akiko Sensei?" He asked, pointing his wand at her throat.

Akiko swallowed, turning her face away from him. What choice did she have? "Alright, but you must sign a contract first and I'll need sensei's permission."

Axel grinned.

Today began with an unexpected gain.

A.N.: Next chapter: The Organization

 

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